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Monthly Archives: June 2009

The Late Ferry

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Two levels below me, the passengers stay put
in their queue of cars and trucks, a few playing
with laptops or iPods, one lady petting her hot yet placid
German Shepherd. They’ve done this before —
gone back & forth across the waters, avoiding the winds.
On deck above, I lean against the starboard hull
into the spray, unable to take my eyes off
a heavy female osprey on top of some ocean rigging,
just returned to her nest. As though for the first time
I ask myself in silent passage, How many babies
still need to be fed? How much can a mother carry
almost alive in her claws? Will I ever know
such hunger or final terror? That urgent love?
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by Therese L. Broderick
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(An artist’s statement about this poem appears as the third comment.)

Higgins

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As schoolmates we shared the same count
of years, a ninth-grade teacher, the cracked
sidewalks of our streets. The only wrestler
I had ever known, red-headed as any legend’s
Scottish hero, winning strong before he lost
his spine to cancer. The first I’d learned of such
sorry play, that coward’s stunt — Death
come from behind, pinning youth to the ground.
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by Therese L. Broderick
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(An artist’s statement about this poem appears as the first comment.)

Walla Walla Walla Walla

 
“Several people saying, walla, walla, walla, walla sounds like a large group talking”
Discover magazine, June 2009
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Thus spake the several : declaiming as a group.
          Thus spake the group : declaiming as a crowd.
Thus spake the crowd : declaiming as one battalion.
          Thus spake the battalion : declaiming as an army.
Thus spake the army : declaiming as one crusade.
          Thus spake the crusade : declaiming as a cherubim.
Thus spake the cherubim : declaiming as a yahweh.
          Thus spake the yahweh : declaiming as one Word —
le mot, la parola, das wort, la palabra, the logos —
          Thus spake the Word : be fruitful, and multiply. Voila.
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by Therese L. Broderick
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(An artist’s statement about this poem appears as the first comment.)

At the Site of Thoreau’s Cabin

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Close to its chimney remains, a rock pile is still
being built, word-by-word, by Thoreau’s
foragers — stones painted with lofty quotations by
Emerson, with lifespans of the long-ago gone,
with squirreling graffiti on the red hearts of young lovers.
In my hand, not one chosen lodestone to add
to this heap. In my pocket, no black-capped marker.
I entered this forest, circled Walden Pond
without knowing what the script
on striped chipmunks crossing my path
could have told me : here is a clearing
requiring lines more essential than
timber burning on a hearth, more lasting
than wooden desks or chairs. Or homemade pencils.
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by Therese L. Broderick
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(An artist’s statement about this poem appears as the first comment.)